- Professional + Civic
Susan doesn’t measure legal challenges in acreage, but rather complexity. As a highly-skilled land use and real estate attorney, Susan’s track record of success includes navigating the acquisition and entitlement process for projects ranging from large-scale master-planned communities to urban infill and redevelopment projects.
She leverages her 22 years of experience to uncover creative, timely, business-minded solutions for any number of legal issues that may arise throughout the life cycle of each development project. Her strategic counsel and robust portfolio of land use entitlement case experience draw upon her educational and professional background as an architect and urban planner. Susan’s well-earned reputation as a sought-after land use attorney is complemented by the key relationships she has developed over the years with developers, landowners, consultants, government officials and stakeholders, by way of her extensive involvement in development projects throughout the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.
Beyond entitlements, her practice includes negotiating development agreements and infrastructure reimbursement agreements, impact fee agreements, community facilities districts, annexations, transactional counseling, development permitting, administrative proceedings and strategic oversight of public outreach campaigns. Susan has amassed considerable experience as the architect of regulatory structures for master planned communities. She also has well-established relationships with officials at Arizona State Land Department and works regularly with clients regarding the leasing and acquisition of State Trust Land.
With a home base in Cave Creek, Susan and her fellow lawyer husband Brent navigate the never-ending job of launching three boys into adulthood. In her spare time, she satisfies her inner architect with a never-ending series of home improvement projects and escapes to the mountains of Colorado as often as time permits.
- State Bar of Arizona
- Serves as land use counsel for several of the most active homebuilders in Arizona, providing guidance on acquisitions, entitlements, development agreements and transactional documents.
- Drafted zoning regulations and managed the entitlement and acquisition process for an innovative 500-acre master-planned community in Mesa, Arizona.
- Managed the entitlement process for a 400-acre master-planned community in Phoenix, including facilitation of a public-private partnership with the City to jointly construct a critical arterial roadway corridor.
- Conceived and negotiated a tri-party agreement between the City of Phoenix Parks Department, local school district and private developer to create a joint-use school and public park facility that will be used as a model by the City for future joint use facilities.
- Negotiated a development agreement with the City of Scottsdale for a 464-acre master planned community, including infrastructure phasing and reimbursement provisions.
- Negotiated and secured approval of the first use of a Revitalization District, a special taxing district, for a master-planned residential community in Cave Creek, Arizona.
- Negotiated a settlement and development agreement with the City of El Mirage, Arizona that resulted in dismissal of a lawsuit and concurrent approval of flexible entitlements for the client’s property.
Professional & Community Involvement
- State Bar of Arizona Real Property Section, Member
- Valley Partnership, Member
- Urban Land Institute, Member
- Urban Land Institute – Women’s Leadership Initiative, Member
- Arizona Planning Association – Arizona Chapter, Member
- Arizona Women Lawyers Association, Member
- National Association of Home Builders Professional Women in Building Council, Member
- Ladder Down, Graduate Class of 2015
- Town of Cave Creek Planning Commission, Former Member
- Arizona State University School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Former Adjunct Professor